Michael Carrick has been awarded a 2017 testimonial by Manchester United to mark his 11 years with the club.
At the request of the United vice-captain, all monies raised after expenses will be distributed to his chosen charities through the newly-created Michael Carrick Foundation, itself a registered charity.
The major highlight of the testimonial will be a match between a Manchester United 2008 XI and Michael Carrick All-Stars to be played at Old Trafford on Sunday 4 June 2017. The confirmed list of players for the United team includes Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, while the All-Stars line-up will feature Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen. More stars will be announced in the coming weeks.
The charities to which the testimonial proceeds will be distributed by the foundation will be based in Manchester and Newcastle initially, focusing on young people and their development. The vision of the Michael Carrick Foundation is to create opportunities for children to feel safe, valued and inspired to achieve.
The mission is to do this by giving something back for children with identified needs, by investing in specific sustainable community-centred projects creating a legacy through enriched experiences and enhanced opportunities. Also benefiting will be projects of the Manchester United Foundation which works across some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester, using the passion for Manchester United to help and inspire youngsters. The testimonial was awarded by the club at the request of a testimonial committee following Michael’s service of over 11 years to the club, including a recent period as vice-captain.
Michael Carrick said: “To have played for the greatest football club for 11 years is something that I’m very proud of and it is an honour to have been given a testimonial. The game will be very special for myself and my family and I hope it will also be a memorable day of celebration for all involved.
“It is such a privilege to have this amazing opportunity and I’m excited at the prospect of bringing together some former team-mates as well as some of the best players I’ve played against. The incredible support I’ve received over the years is something I’m very grateful for and I could never thank you, the fans, enough. As much as the occasion is about football, I also see this as a chance to give something back.
“All the proceeds from the game are going to charity. I hope to raise as much money as possible for my Foundation to help make a difference to children’s lives. It’s something I’m very passionate about and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this testimonial possible.”
Jose Mourinho, manager of Manchester United, said: “I am delighted Michael has been awarded a testimonial. Michael is a phenomenal person and a true professional. He gives stability in our game and mental freedom to the other guys around him to be more attacking. He has a big understanding of the game and is a great role model for our younger players. This will be a fitting way for Michael and his family to celebrate his achievements over the past 11 years and for Michael to create a lasting legacy through his foundation.”
Ed Woodward, Executive Vice-Chairman of Manchester United, said: “Michael is a great example of a Manchester United player. He plays the game with elegant flair, making his job look effortless. He is 100 per cent a team player and someone for the younger players to look up to. From the start at United, he showed courage to take the squad number of the great Roy Keane and he has continued to grow in responsibility and influence. For someone who has won everything in the game, his commitment, effort and work rate are great examples to young players. The testimonial is a fitting tribute to a real gentleman of the game.”
David Giess, Executive Director of Skillequal and Michael’s agent and business manager for over 20 years, said: “I am delighted that Manchester United, Ed Woodward, the Glazers and the Board have awarded Michael his testimonial as a celebration of 11 years with the club. I think this is a fitting tribute to Michael and recognises not only his standing as a top player but also his contribution to a highly successful period at the club, having won 10 major trophies with United. As an individual you won’t find a more respected, genuine and sincere person and it’s been a privilege and honour to work with him for all these years.
“When Michael heard he had been granted the testimonial by the club he immediately insisted that all money raised should go to charities working for young people in his local areas of Manchester and Newcastle. On Michael’s behalf we are now working hard to make the event a huge success, memorable for the fans, and creating real benefits for those who depend on these projects.”
John Shiels, Manchester United Foundation CEO, said: “This is a tremendous gesture from the vice captain of Manchester United. Throughout his time at the club, Michael has always supported our Foundation and visited a number of our partner schools and projects. He has not only been a constant and inspiring role model for the young people we work with, but over the years I have also been particularly struck by the sensitive and compassionate way he has taken time out to meet supporters with life-limiting conditions. Michael’s generosity doesn’t surprise me, but it goes without saying Manchester United Foundation is incredibly grateful.”